5 things for human-caused-climate-change sceptics to say to people who accuse them of being “climate deniers”

As a global-warming sceptic, I get so fed up with this type of insult, particularly when put in a tone which suggests that disagreeing about this issue is on a par with torturing children to death for amusement.  Though, having said, I would also emphasise that I have had some very good, very sensitive, very interesting debates with people who are very strongly on the other side of this question.  There is no tarring all on either side with the same brush.

However, these suggestions are for the occasions where debate just doesn’t seem to be on the cards, with the idea either of stopping the rudeness (3 and 4) or encouraging thought, real debate, and actual science (preferable where possible*).

My favourite is number five.  It attempts to build on probable common ground, and engage with the potential real concerns of the other.  But if starting from “denier” type insults, it might take a few of the other comments first, to get discussion as far as that!

  1. Scientific theories are falsifiable.  I’ll take human caused global-warming seriously when the advocates come up with a set of weather patterns which would demonstrate the theory to be wrong.  (If someone responds, “Well, what would falsify evolution?” the answer is, “Rabbits in the Precambrian!”**)
  2. I’ll take it seriously when the people advocating human-caused-climate-change allow alternative theories to be considered, researched, funded, and discussed.  We can’t find out what is happening, as long as anyone who suggests that a different interpretation fits the known facts better is silenced with insults.
  3. No, I am not a “climate-denier”.  I am someone who doesn’t assume that the people who scream loudest or use the most emotive language are necessarily right.
  4. People don’t usually use that sort of insult when they have any real arguments.
  5. If what you are bothered about is ecology, then it is extremely important to hold our nerve and find out what is really happening.  If human-caused-greenhouse-gas-mediated-climate-change isn’t the primary climate reality, we could easily lose species or even ecosystems, by putting too much effort into CO2 reduction, while completely missing a lot of things which are actually far more of a real and immediate problem.

Cherry Foster

*Stopping the rudeness by pointing out that it is, of itself, potentially a good reason to be sceptical, probably does serve to help debate in the long run, so it isn’t pointless.

**This is not original, but I have no idea who came up with it.

(Un)tidiness in neurodiversity?

This is altered a little from something I wrote on a web forum, in response to a question about the particular difficulties neurodiverse people can have keeping their space clean and tidy.  I thought it was worth sharing here 🙂

You really aren’t alone in finding tidiness difficult: I’m dyspraxic rather than autistic or ADHD, but there are a lot of overlaps and I really struggle with this myself.  I’m sure my house has sometimes been bad enough to be a health hazard.  In my case it is mostly down to processing and short-term memory problems, but I also have physical problems.  Paper lists are useless – I always just lose them or forget to check them or forget where I got to in them or something.

I personally would say, forget other people’s reactions.  Think in terms of what is actually causing you problems and what you actually need.  If that includes, “space friends are comfortable in so I can socialise,” that is totally different from, “I have to keep this tidy because otherwise people will react negatively.”

Some things that helped me are:

Julie Morgenstern’s books, either as a full system, or for tips.  She is really good because she doesn’t tell you how to live, but how to set up your own system for your own life.  She also has good advice for how someone can assist someone else in setting up an organising system, so if you have a friend or relative who is sympathetic and might help, you can ask them to read it and follow the advice while they help you sort things out.  It is usually much easier to keep clean than to get clean.

(Asking for appropriate help is a healthy way of taking responsibility, of putting yourself back in control of something which is out of control.  Our culture is really stupid to make out that it is a weakness.  I feel like that plenty of times, and feelings are just what they are.  However, properly, delegation – working out that you aren’t the right person for a particular task and need someone else to be involved in some way – is one of the highest level skills there is).

Labels.  I have the most appalling short term memory imaginable.  I generally use chalkboard labels because I feel they look like something that belongs in a home.

Positivity.  I also try to focus on everything I’ve managed to tidy or clean.  This then leaves me feeling that I can do it, and I am coping, and that everything will be in order soon, rather than avoiding cleaning and so forth because I feel so overwhelmed.  Not everyone will have these thought patterns, but they can be a real barrier.

Routine.  If you can schedule a reasonably reliable 10-30 minutes every day to clean something, that helps.

Analysing.  What is it your brain actually does or doesn’t do, which makes it difficult?  I have a lot of trouble remembering where I am in a process, and following it through to the end.  I have even worse problems with a diffuse task which doesn’t have boundaries.  Brain-wise, I can manage the washing up much better than tidying up, because tidying up is so complicated.  I am still working on this, but I’m having a certain amount of success with delineating a task carefully: I’ll spend ten minutes putting everything that has a home that isn’t in it away.  Is the storage difficult for you physically or mentally, and if so, what would be better?  I found my clothes got an awful lot tidier when I started using baskets and pegs, rather than wardrobe and drawers!  Ignore convention, unless there is a stated reason for it.  Convention is often merely a shortcut for people who think in a similar way: a way in which they can use each others’ ideas rather than wasting effort coming up with the same solutions to the same problems over and over again.  If you don’t think like that and therefore the conventional way of doing things doesn’t work, it is of little help – and it has no moral force.

Clutter spaces.  I am still working on this one, because by their nature, clutter spaces tend to get cluttered and I don’t keep up with sorting them out.  But designating a shelf, or a box or a cupboard, or something, where you can dump anything which you don’t know what to do with that moment, to be sorted properly later, does seem to help.  (A tip adapted from Julie Morgenstern when in a total mess, is to sort, or simply put, everything you aren’t using daily into boxes, to bring back some sort of order.  Then take the boxes apart one by one, which often feels less daunting because it delineates the task).

Hope this may be of some help to some people!  🙂

Cherry Foster

What it is actually like being dependent on state-provided medical equipment

I have a hospital bed, provided by the NHS, in order to help manage my posturally dependent fainting, and to a lesser extent, my joint problems.

This service is supposed to be a simple right: that is, if you have a level of need that justifies it, it is supposed to be provided.

A few weeks ago, the bed developed an appalling creak which was waking me up when I turned over.  I am not, moreover, a turn-over-and-go-back-to-sleep person; such a problem involves a dramatic lack of sleep, with all the knock-on effects on already poor health of that.

After a few tries, I starting pulling the mattress – which is really too heavy for me to handle – off the bed and sleeping on the floor.  Despite various and considerable difficulties, this answered better than trying to sleep on the bed.

I called out an engineer.  This, incidentally, involves an absolute demand that you should be available all day so they can come when they like.  You are lucky if they have any respect for which day.  This is bad enough in commercial services, but at least people mostly don’t need things like their internet or electricity mended very often.  When it is a normal, frequent part of life, it becomes quickly impossible – particularly if you need to sleep during the day on a regular basis.

If there is one thing I would like to see all the disability charities rise up together in protest of, it is the total refusal to respect the value of the time of people with disabilities or health problems, and their need to organise their lives around normal activities just like everyone else.

These “services” generally have no respect even for the needs of the management of the very health problems for which we need their services – such as napping during the day – let alone for other life commitments such as work, study, or childcare.

This is despite both the social pressure towards, and the real sense in, trying to live as normal a life as possible despite disability.  We are pushed to do so – and I think it is quite right in theory even if the pressure is falsely thought out – but are then prevented from doing so by the failure of services to operate in a manner that makes it possible.

Health professionals turn up forty minutes before a home appointment and make out that our protests that we are not available to them until the appointment time are unreasonable, transport services demand to spend hours dragging us to and from an half-hour hospital appointment, equipment services expect us simply to be there when they like.

The engineer poked the bed, said it was a problem with the make of bed and that I should ask them to replace it with a different make, as this one was bad with squeaking, and also suggested that I oil it, as he was not allowed to do so.  This is, incidentally, a concern to do with allergies and damage to other property.

I tried oiling it, not wanting to face the disruption of trying to get it changed.  It didn’t work.

Three weeks ago, the request was made that they change it.

Two weeks ago, a phonecall from us to them was made asking what was going on.

We were told that the request had gone through, that they would do what I asked, and that the matter was marked as urgent.

Today, following further protestations, I was rung up, by someone explaining that they could not put the request through for some reason they didn’t understand, and that they had a long waiting list, and that there wasn’t anything they could do about it.

Actually, after protestation and discussion, she agreed to change the bed for another of the same make, for another probably squeaking bed, and then see about changing it for one of a different make which was not so likely to keep causing problems with squeaking.  Or otherwise, I could continue to struggle sleeping on the floor for an indefinite length of time, while she ran hither and yon trying to get it sorted out.

What a total waste of everyone’s time and resources.

The squeaker bed, is, moreover, apparently the newer make.

Then I was told that if I could not ring up to arrange it myself – which I can’t – using the phone is difficult and my stamina is exhausted at the moment – there would be a problem because the people actually responsible for delivering the thing, tried to ring me up and didn’t get through first time, they would cancel the order.

Does anyone who hasn’t tried to use these services, have the slightest idea that they treat us like this, without dignity or reason or common sense?

That they behave as if we were merely disabilities, for them to throw a bone to if we happened to come and sit nicely, when they call?

That the slightest attempt to have any sort of life or existence outside the beck and call of the health “service” is something that has to be fought for at every turn.

If I am political over this, it is at least totally anti-socialist.  The fewer things one has to depend on other people’s efficiency for, the better.  The less one has to deal with the judgement of other people about how you ought to live, the better – and if the idea is gathering in and sharing out, what you get is what someone else, some impersonal and faceless body with neither interest in or knowledge of the realities of your life, decided you ought to want or need.

However, I do think the policy of these external contracts with providers should be reviewed.  For all I know external contractors are still less bad in providing than direct employment by government services, but it does not work in healthcare, in the sense that, in my experience at least, it consistently results in unacceptably bad service.

We shall see what happens now.  I have now been sleeping on the floor, dragging the mattress on and off the bed, for weeks.  It has been down on their list as urgent, for weeks.  And yet, only today, and only upon our protest, have I been rung up to be told that they cannot do what I ask.

It is a serious drain on energy I don’t have to spare for the very reasons of bad health over which I need the provision in the first place.  As is, of course, the lack of the functionality the bed is supposed to provide in raising and lowering me slowly, or raising my feet, when my dysautonomia is playing up.  I cannot move the thing on my own; I have no other bed to sleep on.

When they put it there, they made me dependent on their service working, for a major part of my welfare.  Sadly, and even more sadly – as usual, the practical reality is one of being let down.

Would I actually find it easier to manage my health, without the help of the medical equipment that I am judged to need and to be entitled to, given the impossible price that comes with its provision, of the control of my life by, and an endless dependency on people who cannot, in practice, be trusted with that dependency?  Without the price of being left disempowered on the floor, in the hands of people who simply do not do what they have said they will do urgently, for weeks on end?  Without the price of endless following up and complaining and protesting?

I don’t know.  But there is something very wrong, when it is so much as possible that the question could be answered, “yes.”

Cherry Foster

Clergy appreciation day?

According to the calendar I mostly use, John Keble is celebrated today.

For most of his life John Keble was a married parish priest in the Church of England.  He is generally credited with starting the Oxford Movement with a sermon on National Apostacy – which I have to admit, I realise I ought to have read but haven’t.  And he wrote Christian poetry some of which is still widely sung as hymns in some circles (e.g. “Blest are the pure in heart”).

(As an aside, I thoroughly recommend his collection, “The Christian Year,” as food for thought).

It seems therefore, an excellent day to choose, to thank the clergy for everything they are, and do, for the cause of Christ and for His people.

I reserve my own and everyone else’s just quarrels with clergy… for tomorrow…  This post is about telling the whole truth – remembering the good as well as the bad – not about insisting things are all one or the other.  Unlike Shakespeare’s Caesar, the clergy don’t seem to have to die, for the evil they do to have a disproportionate impact, while the good is interred – with God’s eternal purpose of salvation and re-creation, rather than with their bones?

Being a parish priest, is, to all appearances, a gruelling and thankless task.  I am much less aware of other types of clergy service, but it is reasonable to assume they have their own problems.

So I would like, on this day which is a celebration of one most excellent parish priest, to take the opportunity to say thank-you to all the clergy.

Thank-you.  Thank-you very much for everything, for being there and doing what you do.  May God bless, and grant that you and your families utterly prosper in all good things, here and hereafter.

Cherry Foster

Icon of the Trinity source wikimedia commons photo credit unknown public domain
Andrei Rublev’s Icon of The Trinity, seen in the visit of the Angels to Abraham. Given the history of development, the figures are probably intended to be Christ in the centre, the Father on the left, and the Spirit on the right. The subject seems to include the eternal conversation of the Trinity on Redemption – the Father sending the Son, the Son making the offering and praying the Spirit be sent, the Father indicating to the Spirit to go and the Spirit assenting to this. The viewer is also placed, in terrifying intimacy, on the wrong side of the altar. (I recommend Gabriel Bunge’s work on the subject). Photo source: Wikimedia Commons; Photo Credit: unknown.

Have schools inspected chiefly by people who believe all children should be home-educated? Flaw obvious…

Reverse same question?  Flaw not obvious. 

But it should be.
Here follows a letter to a relevant member on certain issues addressed in the Schools Bill surrounding home education (responses mostly to this factsheet and these comments from education otherwise, a homeschooling charity.  I am not a member of education otherwise and the practical suggestions made here are entirely my own).
As with parental medical autonomy, and in accord with natural law theory, I hold strongly as a philosophy graduate that it is important to preserve the family as the primary unit of society and the primary reference point of children.  I am therefore strongly in favour of the right to home educate without interference, including much by way of red tape.
Education is compulsory.  School is not.
Dear [Honourable Member]
Thank-you for your work on addressing certain educational issues in the schools bill: it is an important subject and there is good reason to welcome much of it.
However, I do feel that it is right to raise a protest on the unbalanced extension of powers to LAs and other institutional entities, over how children are educated.
In general, parents are the right people to decide what is in the best interests of their children.  The duty to assist should not be mistaken for the right to control.
No-one would set up a system of inspection for schools run entirely by people who thought all children should be home-educated by their parents.
It would be obvious that what this would really mean was continuous, subtle, and often unconscious sabotage of good school-delivered education.  
Yet this is, in effect, what is increasingly being done with home education.
While I recognise the good intentions, increasing the powers of the LA or others over children is liable to mean, in practice, that children’s welfare is being taken out of the hands of those who truly know and care about them, and who have made a long term commitment to them – i.e. their parents – and placed in the hands of administrators who may or may not mean well, have no such knowledge or commitment, and are often more interested in preserving rigid systems, than in the reality of what is actually happening in a particular case.
I would suggest that it is appropriate to require the registration of home educated children for safeguarding, but that an independent body, other than the local authority, should be set up to do this, with clear rules regarding the limits of its remit, and intentionally consisting of people who believe in good, real, home education as a genuine and healthy alternative to school, and who understand what a wide variety of good home educational provisions look like.
As things stand, home-educating parents tend to be judged by people who think that education means school and would prefer to force that option if at all possible – and this despite the immense number of children who are let down both educationally and humanly by schools – leaving unable to read or traumatised by bullying.
Does anyone consider percentage-wise, whether more children are let down by schools or by home-provided education?  It is not an easy question to formulate well or do good research on.  Nevertheless, I would, personally, expect to find the former was the case.  Home education has a lot of advantages, including extremely small class sizes, less wasted time waiting about, and the capacity to tailor the education and environment to the child.
Any system of supervision or safeguarding which is intended to respect rather than put an end to home education, needs to be run by people who believe in that way of doing things, and are not trying to generally interfere with the way families who make this choice are doing things, but only to pick up on non-genuine cases where, for example, a family keeps a girl at home not in order to educate her in a better environment than school, but in order to make sure she is not educated.
On a different note, the time limits within which information for registration is required to be provided (15 days) are totally unreasonable.  In practice, the length of time it takes letters to be posted and reach people generally take a week off any official time-frame.  And a family could quite easily be on holiday for the length of time involved.  The assumption that people (in this case the LAs) will be reasonable in that sort of instance does not belong in legislation: the law ought to constitute a safeguard against the unreasonable.
I would also suggest that protections should be increased for parents against unreasonable local authorities.  For instance, that if a SAO is dismissed by the court, a new one cannot be brought for at least three years.
Safeguarding is important, but it is a mistake to suppose that most children need safeguarding from their parents, rather than from officials who often have no interest or concern in the matter beyond box-ticking.  I do not say that LAs should be like this, but that it is often the reality.  The right to home educate is meaningless unless it is genuinely not interfered with in the vast majority of legitimate cases.
Finally, vague requirements for local authorities to “support” will almost certainly be generally used to interfere inappropriately, and not to support at all.  If this is meant, the support to which a home-educated child is entitled should be clearly laid out, and the conditions which can be placed on the claiming of such help be carefully defined.
I would suggest that it should include, perhaps among other things, an allowance for exam fees and stationary/textbooks, corresponding to what would normally be provided by a school.
Care needs to be taken, however, that the details of the way in which it is administered, do not involve trying to force all home educated children towards a school-like model.  Again, this is another place where it would probably be of help to have an independent body part of whose job it was to aim to be as hands-off as possible.
I will leave it at that, but I hope you will realise that the matter of protecting home education and home educating families, and indeed, the family and its integrity in general in an increasingly institutionalised world, needs more thought.
Cherry Foster

Corpus Christi et Sanguine: the Catholic, the Protestant, priorities, and “not-only”, or, how to disagree with everyone…

For anyone reading this who has the same affliction of absent-mindedness, or who otherwise does not know, it is the festival of Corpus Christi et Sanguine, although the latter part of that generally gets forgotten.

I will quite happily fling myself on my face in worship before either the Body or Blood of Christ.

So offending and bewildering the Protestant, to whom I would answer, as most Catholics would, “How can His Body or Blood be there, and Himself not?”

To the objection that would be made to this by most Protestants, that it is a matter only of symbolism, I would respond – this time, as most Catholics would not, “Symbolism here is not a matter of the present standing for the absent, but of the visible making the invisible known.  There is, and can be, no only about it.”

So, also starting to confuse the Catholic, who – for reasons I do not understand, apparently replaces the symbolism of Scripture with merely human metaphysical theories as to the mechanism by which Christ is present, and then reorganises Eucharistic practice in the, um, darkness of said theories.

(The point on the nature of symbolism in liturgy, by the way, I owe to Father Alexander Schmemann, whose very readable work “The Eucharist,” I would commend to everyone, as at the very least, excellent food for thought).

I would continue to offend the Catholic by refusing to worship the Eucharist instead of receiving it.

I will happily attend Benediction – having received Communion earlier in the day.  But how have we come to replace, “receive,” with “worship”, “revere”, or “venerate”?  All three words push reception out of the picture, if not literally, in terms of their real reference to actually advocated practice.

“Reverence” – the word in the collect in Common Worship – is not so bad – at least in my own personal feeling for the subtleties of language: as reverence is, or at least, should be, strongly associated with obedience, and therefore does not suggest the same separation from reception.  To “reverence” the Eucharist, involves receiving it reverently.  Not worshipping it in the Church porch and walking away completely unfed, or denied the Precious Blood of the Covenant, permitted only to be received by celebrating clergy.

At this point, I suspect that the Protestant is cheering me on.  However, I shall continue to worry them, by insisting that making a priority of what Christ ordained to be done, does not mean that it is not permissible to do other things which naturally flow from those commands.  I do not consider it repugnant to the word of God, to do things which have not been specifically commanded in words of one syllable – though I do accept the difficulty of the fact that to take the view that if it is not forbidden it is permitted, does require a lot of much more careful thought about what is in fact forbidden, than the refusal to do anything not specifically commanded.  However, the latter runs one into far more logical trouble.

The healed leper who fell down at our Lord’s feet and thanked God, was not rebuked for his slowness in showing himself to the priest as commanded, but commended for giving the thanks which had not been commanded (Luke 17:12-19).

So it may be (I will not presume to state definitively) with the derived rites of Thanksgiving for the Eucharist.  But thanks must retain their reference to the reality for which thanks are given if they are to mean anything, and they can only do that as long as they do not become a replacement for that reality in lived Christian practice.  For what does the leper give thanks, if he goes away and continues to live as if he was still a leper?  For what does the Christian give thanks, if we – the Christian laity – are still considered unfit to actually receive the Lord’s Body and Blood?

The Catholic position, as actually lived, bewilders me more, it has to be said.  I can understand the coherence of the Protestant position.  Whereas, I don’t understand how anyone, reasoning on approximately sound principles, could come up with the Catholic practice of replacing reception with metaphysical theories, reduction to the minimum that’s considered valid in Church terms, and the abstract worship of what we were bidden receive.

I disagree more with the Protestant on paper and more with the Catholic in terms of actual liturgical practice.  There is probably a parable or two there, but I will leave that to the imagination of my reader…

Cherry Foster

The cake and cheese analogy – the difference between the way worship is experienced in the active vs. the contemplative life?

I will start with a comprehensive disclaimer: it is obviously a lot more complicated that this analogy suggests, there is a spectrum, with some mixed active and contemplative experience in most spiritual journeys, there is a lot of individual experience and difference, a lot of variation depending on spiritual stage etc. etc.

That is, God is a real person, who deals with people in actual personal relationship, and is free to deal with people as he likes, irrespective of our categories.  Though we should test the spirits to see if they are of God, that should mean assessing things against scriptural principles, not dismissing as “not of God,” what is merely different from what we are used to.

However, I think this analogy may be of some help, despite being oversimplifed, in reducing the tension and lack of mutual understanding between those whose primary role in the church is to pray and keep the door open, and those whose primary role is to go in and out and find pasture for the sheep, by drawing attention to a difference in the way different aspects of things may actually be differently experienced in the two different lives.

In my part of the church, it is definitely the Contemplative who gets the worst of it at the moment – though I have some sense that this may be due in part to a traditional tendency for things to be the other way around.  And certainly I write from the point of view of one who is very definitely in the contemplative camp – and am probably more aware of bad experiences on that side, than I would be of those on the other.

So, to the analogy itself.

I have the impression that Actives tend to experience worship rather like a rescue party running up a mountain eating cake bars or sweets.  That is, they need quick, high energy, rewarding food, in order to function in doing something external.

Kendal_mint_cake, wikipedia commons, copyright to attribution
Kendal mint cake, much beloved of mountaineers. Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons, Photo Credit: “Geni”

For Contemplatives worship is much more like being a breastfeeding mother*, sitting down to a large meal of brown bread and butter and cheese and carrots.  While it is needed, and may well be more or less enjoyed at least some of the time, it is in itself hard work for the body (or by analogy the spirit) to eat and process enough to nourish others.

Cheese,_wine_and_bread_in_a_sidewalk_cafe_in_Paris,_June_2015 Wikimedia commons no copyright
Photo Credit: Joe deSousa

I think Actives are a bit liable to assume Contemplatives, spending a lot of time on worship, are merely selfishly stuffing themselves on the cake bars, instead of realising that the contemplative capacity to nourish and help another, rests on their discipline in eating perhaps rather more than they want to process, of simple, ordinary, nutritious food – and that is what is being provided to them by God, at the same table as they are being given their much needed high energy sweets.

The Contemplatives, on the other hand, may equally absurdly suppose the Actives are not really taking God or those whom he would have them serve seriously enough, in eating simple carbohydrates as they run, rather than sitting down and wading through a proper balanced meal!

What people engaged in these two different types of service need from worship, and what they experience as a result, probably does differ to this degree and in this sort of way.

Recognition – at least of the possibility of much greater differences of experience than are generally supposed – might be a lot of help in promoting genuine, healthy, mutual respect.

Cherry Foster

*I would emphasise here that I am well aware that different women experience this differently, that it is harder work for some than others, and some simply are not able to do it through no fault of their own; also, that I personally have never breastfed, and am therefore going on what others have told me about it.

The Very Squashed Tree – or, the comic strip version of why Concomitance doesn’t stand up to scholarly scrutiny as a justification for refusing Communion in Both Kinds…


Tree on mountain

Mountain on tree (2)

Tree on mountain explained

Cherry Foster

The Myrrh Bearer’s Path

Olive_blossoms wikimedia commons copyright to attribution
Photo source: wikimedia commons Photo credit: “Sputnikcccp”

It was at cockcrow that I rose,

No light upon the waters’ face,

From blankets that knew no repose;

I took the ointments from their place.

In night I walked, my feet did crush

The tender lilies in my way,

And from my hands the myrrh did brush

The fumbled gate catch in the grey.

Oh, shame!  That He had so betrayed,

Whom we had taken spoke God’s Word,

And in such love saw Him dismayed,

Our anger thus in grief deferred.

The voice that called the devils forth,

The eyes that challenged, hands that healed,

Of help and hope the loving source,

And – shall I think that He deceived?

I would not think – it is too hard,

When dead and wounded lies that face.

Here spices that the wind has stirred,

That breath blows water round its place.

O sick with love, and sick with grief,

Beneath the withered apple tread,

From here the path is steep but brief,

To look on that dear face – now dead.

What of the stone?  A passer-by

Might move it in their pitying aid,

Alas! I have no veil nigh,

I should the watchmen here evade.

And yet – the stone is not in place,

And lightning strikes from the clear sky,

What more has happened to disgrace?

What further trial is to us nigh?

He is not here!  The grave clothes stripped,

What folly e’en the dead attacks?

Could they not in this dreary crypt

Have left death’s shame beneath its wraps?

O by these rocks, beneath this vine,

Of grief and weeping let me die,

O singing birds, with me repine,

O skipping hart, with me now cry.

Cherry Foster -Reblogged from 2020


This is Tophet – the crash and clang of spears

Drown out the cry of the forsaken child,

And shouts and screams, and noise of chains, and jeers,

O’erwhelm the weeping of the mother mild.

Twas us made hell – twas Man, not God,

Twas us the evil chose and not the good,

Twas us that turned the rose into a rod,

The tree of life into the cross’s wood.

And this the wrath, the wrath of God most sore,

Our God with whom no evil stays nor dwells,

Whose love, outpoured, is all Creation’s law,

And will not stand to bargain with our hells.

Yet rather to the cross would take our sin

Than lose the children who here murder Him

Cherry Foster